POLITICS

Coalition Should Back Kevin Rudd And 'Team Australia' For UN Top Job: Chris Bowen

Labor wants Rudd as the next UN secretary-general.

24/07/2016 9:26 AM AEST | Updated 24/07/2016 10:41 AM AEST
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Daniel Munoz / Reuters
Former Aussie PM Kevin Rudd has the backing of the Labor party for his tilt to become UN boss.

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen has called on the federal government to get behind former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's bid to become United Nations secretary-general.

The former Labor PM recently announced his intention to stand for the UN's top job which will become vacant when current secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon steps down in January 2017.

For Rudd to enter the race he has to be nominated by the Turnbull Government but the Coalition has so far not indicated if it will support the Queenslander in his tilt for the global role.

A decision by cabinet is expected soon after Julie Bishop recently confirmed that Rudd asked the government to nominate him, bringing to a close months of speculation over his intentions.

Speaking on Sunday, Bowen called on the Coalition to throw its weight behind the former PM.

"Support the Australian, Team Australia," Bowen told Sky News.

"Australia's never before had the opportunity for someone to be secretary-general of the United Nations, it would be an enormous opportunity for the nation. The cabinet should quickly and unanimously endorse his candidacy."

Should the nomination proceed, Rudd will then fight 12 international candidates for the job. Those candidates have have already pitched their case in public debates for the first time since the UN was set up in 1945.

On Sunday morning, Attorney-General George Brandis would not be drawn on whether he would back Rudd, saying the decision was one for cabinet.

"I know Kevin quite well and I will refrain from commentary until we have that discussion in cabinet," he told the ABC.

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